Seoul – Rotary Convention

The annual Rotary Convention was held in Seoul, this year. This gave us a good excuse to visit the city (as it turns out, none of the other Rotarians from Shanghai had been to Seoul before, despite frequently traveling via Incheon Airport).

Day 1 (28.05.) We were greeted at Incheon airport by Rotary volunteers. It showed already, that the city was firmly in the hands of the 43.000 participating Rotarians. Also, we got to experience that Korea is not China. People were very friendly, immigration super efficient and the bus to the city looked like a business class on wheels. We stayed at ibis Ambassador at Dongdeamun. First, we explored the Dongdemun Design Plaza and the Jongmyo Shrine. In the evening, we explored the Gwangjang Fashion market and had dinner at the Noryangjin Fish Market, where you can buy your fish downstairs and have the restaurants on the first floor cook it for you. Dinner included still moving octupus and plenty of soju.

Day 2 (29.05.) Today, we visited the Convention at the Kintex Center. We only had one ticket (prices were 450EUR p.P.). We explored the House of Friendship to meet Andrew Hill and the Shanghai Club Friends. Fabian watched the opening ceremony with Ban Ki Moon. In the afternoon, we explored the old town of Bukchon and the tart (=tourist) district of Insedong.

  

Day 3 (30.05.) This morning we split up. While Fabian went to the convention to listen to speakers Michi set out to explore the city including the markets in Dongdaemun and the City Wall at Namsam Park. In the afternoon, we visited Gyeonbokgung Palace and had a fun dinner with the Shanghai Crowd inclouding market food and amazing Korean BBQ.

Day 4 (31.06.) After some street breakfast (muffins with whole fried egg and cinnamon thin/crispy bread) we visited Changdeokgung Palace including the Secret Gardens (only accessible with guided tour). In the evening, we explored Gangnam (Gangnam station and Garosu-gil). We ended the evening watching the waterfountains at Banpo Bridge) .

 Day 4 (01.06.) On our last day, we visited the Korean War Museum. This was almost cliche, as we met a US Seargent that was preaching in best southern accent to his squat about the Korean war. The museum was very much in the style of an amusement park, with kids playing between the guns. At noon, we went shopping at Myeongdong and headed out to the airport. Our flight was rescheduled by 4hours (apparently changed to summer schedule without notifying us). Than it was delayed by another hour due to congestions at Shanghai. That’s China.

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